Uber Loses License To Operate In London
LONDON -- Uber has just suffered a significant setback in one of its biggest markets.
London transit officials have decided not to extend the company's license to operate in the city beyond midnight local time on Monday. In a statement, Transport for London said Uber was still not "fit and proper."
Uber said it would appeal the decision. It can continue to provide services in London while the appeal is heard.
"TfL has identified a pattern of failures by the company including several breaches that placed passengers and their safety at risk," the regulator said in a statement.
The company has been here before. The city first declined to renew its license in 2017, citing several concerns including how Uber responded to serious crimes. Uber appealed that decision and was later granted permission to operate for 15 months. In late September, the regulator granted Uber an additional two-month license.
London is one of five global cities that account for nearly a quarter of Uber bookings in 2018, along with Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and São Paulo. Uber said recently that 3.5 million Londoners regularly use its app. It claims 45,000 drivers in the capital.
Shorter licenses spanning months, not years, have since become the norm for ride-hailing companies in London.
And competition in the city is heating up. Bolt, which used to be called Taxify, returned to London this year. Kapten, a French startup backed by BMW and Daimler, has also been generating buzz.
Ola, a powerhouse in India that's also expanding to new markets, also poses a threat.
(PHOTO: NurPhoto/Getty Images)